2004
Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729

Abstract

Abstract

The Diary of Anne Frank, written between 1942 and 1944 while she was in hiding with her family in Amsterdam, has been translated in more than 70 languages. Not only the editorial history but also the history of the translations and the reception of Anne Frank’s Diary abroad are complex stories. In this article we will outline how the German translation in the fifties – first in West Germany in 1950 and seven years later in the German Democratic Republic – functioned as a transit port for the Russian translation that came out in 1960. Furthermore we will illustrate how both the history of the East German and the Russian publication bear traces of the political and ideological context in which they came into being and how they are marked by their respective specific memory culture.

Therefore we investigate the first West German translation made by a non-professional translator and the Russian translation from 1960, the role of the reviews (Gutachten), prefaces and afterwords, and we read these against the backdrop of the political and historical developments. Also, the role of adaptations comes up: the Broadway theatrical production staged in West and East Germany in 1956 helped spread the story of Anne Frank amongst German readers, while in the Soviet Union it was the book publication of her Diary that inspired poets and composers.

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